H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald

H is for Hawk

In November, we decided at book group to read H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald – it was suggested by a member of the group who read it last December after receiving a copy for her Secret Santa present and enjoyed it.  I knew very little about the book when I started reading it, only that is was an autobiographical account of owning and training a hawk.  This is true, and to be more accurate, it is about owning and training a Goshawk.  However, alongside this, the novel is about the author’s feelings of loss and grief after the death of her father Continue reading


Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer


In May, for book group, we decided to read Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer.  As a group we had read ‘The Last Word’ by Hanif Kureishi (which was universally disliked) and ‘Life After Life’ by Kate Atkinson (which had a mixed response) in the two preceding months.  Each member of our little group pitched a book to the other members, and then we voted.  Extremely Loud (as I will now shorten the title to) tied with ‘The Remains of the Day’ by Kazuo Ishiguro and was eventually chosen on the toss of a coin.  Even though I voted to read Extremely Loud I still wasn’t sure about it; the only reason I had heard of it was because of the film released in 2011 which received very average reviews.  I know you shouldn’t judge a book by its film reviews but sometimes it’s hard not to.

Extremely Loud is the story of a young boy, Oscar, who lives in New York with his Mother.  They are both trying to deal with the trauma of losing their Father/Husband in the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre.  Oscar’s father was in one of the towers when it collapsed.  Two years later Oscar finds a key inside a vase in his father’s wardrobe and then sets off to find the lock that this key will fit. Continue reading